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BlazBlue: Alter Memory – 01

OP Sequence

BlazBlue Alter Memory   OP   01 BlazBlue Alter Memory   OP   02 BlazBlue Alter Memory   OP   03

OP: 「BLUE BLAZE」 by Faylan

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BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   25 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   26 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   27
BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   28 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   29 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   30
BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   31 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   32 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   33
BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   34 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   35 BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   36

「赤き反逆者」 (Akaki Hangyaku-sha)
“The Red Rebel”

If you’re a fan of the games there will probably be something for you to enjoy. For the rest of us, I’m not so sure.

The Story So Far

I’m not going to bother recounting the story so far because they weren’t especially interested in explaining it. I’m not saying it was confusing – it was actually relatively easy to follow, counter to what I expected – but there were certain elements they’re not even trying to explain, and they seem content to keep it that way so far. This smacks of a problem I did expect, and which has proven to be largely true – that they’re making this anime for fans of the games, and for those who haven’t played them, they’re not wasting a lot of time explaining things, getting us interested in the characters, or anything else.

Our Fighters

Speaking of, the characters. Their character designs were varied and interesting, as I knew they would be, but so far I find myself enjoying them mostly because of the seiyuu and not because of the characters themselves. I liked Tao (Saito Chiwa) because of Saito Chiwa being all genki (though it felt like a bit much after a while), while I liked Rachel Alucard (Ueda Kana) and Hazama (Nakamura Yuuichi) for the same reasons. On the other hand I didn’t really like Sugita Tomokazu’s performance as Ragna the Bloodedge (it was all anger and yelling, with none of his characteristic skill and charm), nor Kakihara Tetsuya’s Kisaragi Jin. The only character I really liked on their own merits was Noel Vermillion (Kondou Kanako), if only because she’s kind, has a strong sense of duty, and is apparently a reincarnation of Saya or something. I hope that’s not a spoiler; I haven’t played the games, but damn that was obvious!

Action

But you’re not here for the story or the characters, are you? You’re here for the fights! Well, they’re okay. They’re not bad, I could give them a pretty good, but they’re not superb by any means. I do think they have that sudden reversal feel of a fighting game though, which fits well, even if I would have preferred they changed up things to make it more cinematic. We need to see more, though; both of the fights so far involved large amount of curb-stomping, so this may change when we get a more even battle. Or anything involving Noel. For some reason I think that fight would be fun.

Looking Ahead

Looks like Ragna is about to lose again? Once again, not too sure about that part, but I guess we’ll see. I don’t have any plans to blog this one, so I’m afraid you’re on your own from here. Have a good one!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – This show isn’t interested in explaining itself to anime-only viewers & the fights were lopsided. I hope the action gets better #BLAZBLUE 01

Random thoughts:

  • The OP appears to have borrowed a lot of scenes from this very episode. I hope it’s a temporary one due to production delays, because otherwise that’s damn lazy.
  • My favorite thing about this episode? The joke in the preview about the jinx on anime based on fighting games. The sad part is that the studios have done little to dispel the jinx.

I’ve made a change on my blog to focus more on storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing, so check it out at stiltsoutloud.com.

 

ED Sequence

BlazBlue Alter Memory   ED   01 BlazBlue Alter Memory   ED   02 BlazBlue Alter Memory   ED   03

ED: 「REINCARNATION BLUE」 by 結城アイラ (Yuuki Aira)

Preview

BlazBlue Alter Memory   01   Preview 01
October 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm
58 comments »
  • October 8, 2013 at 11:39 pmCenosored

    I agree with this post, in all the opening episode of BlazBlue was pretty underwhelming. I haven’t played the games either, but I can’t help, but to think that Guilty Gear (which I have played) would have made for a much more crazier, wackier and engaging anime…

    • October 9, 2013 at 1:31 amJimhawk

      That’s because Guilty Gear was never really trying to take itself too seriously; it always reveled in bombast and exaggeration. Something that over-the-top and flashy has a pretty decent chance of going over well with the public. On the other hand, BlazBlue as a franchise thus far has sought to provide a compelling and complex (and, honestly, nigh indecipherable) story as its selling point. And sold it has.

      As much as I love the games, I don’t see this show contributing much, if anything, to a series that really didn’t need an anime adaptation to boost its popularity. It’s already well-received and well-regarded, and I wish that had been enough for the producers (or consumers, or whoever wanted this anime to exist).

      • October 10, 2013 at 9:33 pmcensored

        You’re sort of right thatt Guilty Gear reveled in its bizarreness, with hard rock refrences and anime asethetic. However silly as it could seem its story actually was one of its main selling points. It was taut, confusing, silly at times (nearly anything involving May and parts with Faust), but many times its story was played straight ( especially with Guilty Gear 2 Overture). I’ll have to play Blazblue, but judging from this anime I can’t shake the feeling that this series is the inferior of the two (especially when delving into Arc Systems feud with Sega).

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:14 pmmike

      play the game first you might change your mind

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:04 am†SooRɔ†

    • October 9, 2013 at 7:29 amLinkark07

      That’s the same thought I had when the Wanted Picture appeared in the game.

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:26 pmjustin

      That was definitely Gin-san with his troll face on the wanted post………

  • October 9, 2013 at 12:12 amSortedeVaras

    Well that was unimpressive. Any decent writer could have easily explained the story better. Also this is the least visually impressive show this season. What a shame.

    • October 9, 2013 at 4:56 amGoodwill Wright

      As much as I love Blazblue… I unfortunately would have to agree with you.

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:15 amKuntzy

      If you wanna know just how badly animated this is…

      This thing that Jin shoots out…

      http://blog-imgs-61.fc2.com/y/a/r/yaraon/fa3177.gif

      is supposed to be an ice sword.

      Yeah…

      • October 9, 2013 at 11:54 amVsin

        Well, it can’t get any worse than the BlazBlue Continuum Shift cutscenes…can it?

      • October 9, 2013 at 8:19 pmmike

        then poof came out an ice cube instead of an ice sword
        though they didn’t go wrong with the one where he blocks himself with ice or was it suppose to shape a lion’s head? (then again i think only unlimited jin can do that, not sure, been a long time since i played blazblue)

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:32 amC

    Actually Blazblue takes a lot of pride in it’s story. And trust me the game was confusing at the start as well. They will probably start explaining stuff next episode.

    • October 9, 2013 at 2:29 amSortedeVaras

      I would have just told Ragna’s story chronologically from childhood for the first 2 episodes then go into Calamity Trigger around ep 3 as he gets to the city. It would make more sense to a new audience, flesh out the world, show characters’ motivations, etc. Things get goofy later so it would be better to easy people into it. TV viewers don’t get to play every character’s story to fill in the gaps.

      • October 9, 2013 at 8:00 amStilts

        I don’t know the details, but this sounds like the kind of introduction I would have preferred…which just backs up my assertion that they made this show for fans of the game rather than new viewers. Which is sad.

      • October 9, 2013 at 8:26 amKuntzy

        @Stilts (and I guess everyone else this can pertain to)

        Eh, if you keep with the show and find yourself liking the characters I would recommend to buy Continuum Shift Extend, which basically has a condensed version of Calamity Trigger and the entirety of Continuum Shift. The third game, Crono Phantasma, comes out on the 24th of this month (in Japan. Early 2014 for NA). There’s always youtube as well I suppose…

        The story plays very much like a visual novel with playable fights (you can just set the difficulty to easy if fighting games aren’t your thing and they’re only one round fights). The story isn’t spectacular but unlike majority of fighting games, at least it tries. Your enjoyment will probably hinge mostly on how much enjoyment you get out of the characters.

      • October 9, 2013 at 10:10 amStilts

        You seriously overestimate the amount of free time I have, my friend :P

    • October 9, 2013 at 6:56 amSingerOfW

      What the anime needs is some short post-ED “Teach Me, Miss Litchi” segments.

      • October 9, 2013 at 6:24 pmJiCi

        or “Help Me: Professor Kokonoe”, although that might come in Season 2 XD

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:32 amBrownmage

    I like the game, but so far I’m not impressed either. For those who haven’t played the game, this episode pretty much follows Ragna’s story line (skipped fight with Arakune in the sewer), and while it actually doesn’t tell you much more than you would get from playing the game, I do like seeing the nice animation instead of screen full of text.

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:39 amion52

    I love the game and I’m going to watch this show until the end. However, I kinda wish they turned this to an OVA instead. More time to check the material and develop decent animation for the show. This is pretty much following Calamity Trigger, and to be fair, CT was pretty much just the icing of the story, whereas Continuum Shift is where the plot gets really interesting. Seriously, most of the story modes in CT ended on a very open note. Bang being a buffoon, Tao taking a nap, Carl wandering around, Tager going home, etc.

    • October 9, 2013 at 5:04 amRickyMack

      Seriously, most of the story modes in CT ended on a very open note. Bang being a buffoon, Tao taking a nap, Carl wandering around, Tager going home, etc.

      While they were indeed open, you make it sound as if most of the endings in CT weren’t interesting. The main characters had much greater cliff hanger revelations in their endings *MAJOR SPOILERS* Show Spoiler ▼

      Though I completely agree the story gets more meatier in Continuum Shift Extend.

      • October 9, 2013 at 6:47 amlol

        well based on the ED it seems they are going to take this story all the way to continumm shift arc though
        so I expect a lot of thing to be explained later on

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:44 amGinobi47

    Well, as long as i get to see Nu in her yandere mode, im fine

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:04 amLGrey

    But you’re not here for the story or the characters, are you? You’re here for the fights!

    To be honest, I’m here only for Noel. I hope that’s okay. ^^

  • October 9, 2013 at 2:58 amzztop

    So what IS the story about? I’ve seen the game at various arcades, but have no idea what’s ging on. (?_?)

    • October 9, 2013 at 8:04 amKuntzy

      Hahaha. I was expecting it to be pretty bad so I can’t be disappointed at all. The story needs more than 12 episodes to be told properly and they’re already through about 75% of the way through the Calamity Trigger true ending… in one episode. Good news for me, that just means I get to see my waifu earlier. ❤ Tsubaki ❤. You’re not voiced by Hayami Saori but I couldn’t care less. I’ll love you for life.

      And don’t worry Stilts, you didn’t spoil anybody with that reincarnation thing. Obviously she has a connection to Saya, but she’s not her reincarnation.

      I also have to agree on Sugita’s performance as well. As much as I love the guys acting, I feel like Ragna is one of the weaker ones. Ragna’s actually one of the few times I’ve actually preferred the English voice more since I feel he captures Ragna’s rough side better.

      And finally that joke at the end about breaking the curse of fighting game anime has a funny story. Sugita is an avid fighting game player and I’ve heard that he actually helps Arc System Works in developing the games now. He’s sort of emotionally invested in the series I suppose. ArcSys is also making a game out of a novel he wrote, so apparently he’s a man of many skills.

      On another note, I think everyone will love this video if they haven’t already seen it.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNkATKq0bUw

      • October 9, 2013 at 8:06 amKuntzy

        Crap, not supposed to be a reply. If that’s possible to fix I’d appreciate it and delete this post as well please.

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:23 amOtamega

    Why they didn’t hired the same studio that animated Calamity Trigger?. It doesn’t look that good imo

    • October 9, 2013 at 4:23 amGoodwill Wright

      Err… I think they should hire the studio that animated Continuum Shift. I thought the faces looked a bit pouty in Calamity Trigger during the animated scenes.

      Anyway, as someone who has played the games, I can also vouch that this anime will have very little to offer anime viewers. The games pride themselves on characters and story and the fact it will have a sequel. There is no way in my opinion this anime will be able to bring any of that out within the short time it has.

      Animation… even the animation isn’t too much to be proud about in this either. It isn’t at a quality that would redeem the series. Plus, I really don’t like the lighting too much in the scenes. It makes the characters and the background very contrasting and usually distracts me from the scene as a whole.

      Why am I here and why will I watch this to the end? Well, why not? It’s Blazblue so for me that is reason enough. I hope that there will be some good fight scenes later but at this rate, I won’t hold my breath for it.

      The only good I can say about this is seeing special attacks in animated form. Although it isn’t eye candy, it is better than nothing.

      Despite my love for the Blazblue franchise, I really can’t recommend this anime to anyone other than maybe to people who also like/love Blazblue, or people just looking for AMV material.

      To be honest, I think it would have been much better if they just released shorts of the gag endings and Help Me Professor Kokonoe.

      • October 9, 2013 at 8:09 amKuntzy

        Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift are both by Gonzo and they were both absolutely terribly animated. Production IG from Extend was the best animation this series has had.

      • October 9, 2013 at 9:48 pmGoodwill Wright

        My bad, I left out the Extend part. But yeah, Before extend, the character faces were inconsistent and I didn’t feel conveyed the proper emotions in the opening.

  • October 9, 2013 at 3:51 amIzaak

    If you really want to understand the story, the best way is to listen to some podcasts that do exactly that.

    http://www.anime3000.com/a3k-network/165-the-other-side/1262-understanding-blazblue-part-1-tos.html
    http://www.anime3000.com/a3k-network/165-the-other-side/1266-understanding-blazblue-part-2-tos.html
    http://www.anime3000.com/a3k-network/165-the-other-side/1271-understanding-blazblue-part-3-tos.html

    If you really want a simple explanation for this then: Show Spoiler ▼

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:16 amUngas123

    Spectacles of Eros

    • October 9, 2013 at 7:06 amJiCi

      YES! This just NEEDS to be in the series XD!

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:45 amRickyMack

    This smacks of a problem I did expect, and which has proven to be largely true – that they’re making this anime for fans of the games, and for those who haven’t played them, they’re not wasting a lot of time explaining things, getting us interested in the characters, or anything else.

    As Brownmage mentioned, this is pretty much how the story mode plays itself out. Frankly, I was just as confused playing through the story the first time in terms of the story and the world of Blazblue. The way that I’ve viewed it, what it is is that you’re just tagging along with these characters who exist in a world that is familiar to them but not to the viewer. Therefore, you’re not going to get the characters to engage in exposition because everything that’s happening to them is “normal.”

    For instance, if someone from the middle age were somehow able to follow you around without you seeing them, you’re not going to just randomly start explaining what a computer is and the history of it being developed when you boot it up, as it so often happens in most anime. Unfortunately, the game’s way of copping with exposition was to stick all that world building information into side skits viewed outside of story mode. I would criticize them for not putting these “Teach Me Miss Litchi” segments at the end, Gundam AGE actually did that.

    Ultimately, the story in the game doesn’t make sense until you play through each character’s story mode. Each character has a little something to contribute to what’s going on, so you can’t really get a clear picture of the story until you see what each person has done throughout the course of events. So I’d say the story is confusing and they don’t explain anything not because they just don’t want to explain it to non-gamers, but because that’s just how they made the story.

    • October 9, 2013 at 10:18 amStilts

      Unfortunately, typically when you play a game you’ve already invested money in it and thus want to get your money’s worth, so you’ll give it a fair shot. With an anime you have a choice of quitting every single episode. Confusion and characters/events that the viewer isn’t interested in yet can quickly become “never”.

      Basically, they needed to adapt the story to the medium rather than just ferrying it over as it was. Doesn’t look like that happened.

      • October 9, 2013 at 3:03 pmRickyMack

        That’s a very reasonable assessment. I found part of the charm of BB’s story was how it was highly fragmented. However, the downside to this is that when told in a linear fashion, it’s not all that special. I think a similar analogy would be the films Memento or Pulp Fiction.

        I do see what you mean in terms of adapting to a new medium though. Similarly, SAO ended up shifting to a chronological narrative to avoid confusion with the story. Interestingly enough Haruhi S1 ended up going the opposite path and going achronological when the novels are linear. I suspect that’s because going linear would have forced the second half of the season into purely side stories.

        As always though I’m appreciative the RC staff covers at least the first episodes of shows they don’t plan on blogging. Cheers!

  • October 9, 2013 at 4:57 amP Ko

    I really shouldn’t be doing this but I’m hyping myself up for when Platinum is shown haha.

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:31 amJiCi

    When are people are gonna get that BlazBlue is 90% story and 10% gameplay? Also, the fights were kept short because that’s what they are in the actual game.

    I’d say that you guys need to give the anime more time to settle in.

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:59 amdrzero7

    The animation could use work. I felt like I was watching cgi movie in a video game rather then an anime. (And I play the game and I LOVE the game) Let’s see if they improve on this.

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:23 amIllidan

    Ok, guys, those that played the game should understand what they’re aiming at, it’s pretty clear that they’re trying to show anime only that Show Spoiler ▼

    That explains the insane pacing so far, it’s either that or they’re trying to get to Continuum Shift ASAP

    • October 9, 2013 at 10:57 amCrook

      This’ll only be Calamity Trigger as far as I know.

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:32 amewok40k

    Quote: My favorite thing about this episode? The joke in the preview about the jinx on anime based on fighting games. The sad part is that the studios have done little to dispel the jinx.

    Just.Stop.Writing.My.Thoughts.

    Oh and Noel is sweetness.

    • October 9, 2013 at 10:20 amStilts

      Only if you stop having such correct thoughts! >:D

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:54 amSingerOfW

    Nice to see an educated opinion of a person who hasn’t played the games: as a long-time follower of the series, it’s really hard for me to judge such things as pacing or plot structure, since I already know it all. For what it’s worth, the developers (including the original writer of the games, who’s supervising the script) promise that the anime is going to make more sense than the games for those who are new to its world. We’ll have to see if it’s going to be true in the long run.

    And it’s not something you could notice, but most of the BGM consists of the remixes of the game OST, and pretty good ones, at that.

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:15 amMagoiichi

    I fell asleep watching this, it’s like I was watching a Lord of the Rings movie, it felt like a 3 hour movie.

    They should’ve made a Guilty Gear anime instead, lots of action with as minimal story as possible.

    • October 10, 2013 at 12:04 pmTheMoondoggie

      Nah, I’d like it to have a good balance of story and action. A good fantasy anime has a good balance of both. I did play Guilty Gear and I’m very familiar with the story. Honestly I would have preferred an anime of the series. I guess BlazBlue is the nearest possible thing.

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:24 amRitsuioko23

    I’ve always liked the English voices for Blazblur a lot more. Probably wont watch this

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:30 amkatsudon

    I really hope it gets better, as this was one of my most looked forward to shows of the season- as I love the games and the characters… But guess we’ll see.

  • October 9, 2013 at 11:48 amSoul Badguy

    That Jin guy look so homo I want to puke, is he gonna show up very often?

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:22 pmKondou

    Not a big fan of the remixed versions of the bgm…The original ones fit each character so well!
    Near the end, I bet I was not the only person who was grinning when Hakumen appeared~ Was waiting for his “famous” line.

    • October 9, 2013 at 6:22 pmJiCi

      Hate to say it, but you might not like Chrono Phantasma’s OST then. They remixed EVERY theme to a different level.

  • October 9, 2013 at 5:38 pmneoversi

    For the fight with Jin, I actually thought it would be like in the games with each of them yelling out their attack names and with cool, flashy combos like what you’d expect from pro players. Instead we get a short curb-stomp battle with a crudely animated ice sword in the middle.

    The part with Tao in the diner felt kinda… pointless. I actually thought it would play out like in the games and he ends up running away with Tao in hand.

    Also why was there no omake section with Kokonoe or Miss Litchi?

  • October 9, 2013 at 6:29 pmbolton

    i’ve played the games mostly as a fighting game fan rather than someone who wanted a story, but i can safely say that this has gone off in a bad start. i’ve played a bit of the story to kinda know what’s going on, but i feel like blazblue is going to keep trying to give each and every character their showtime which can seem needless to a person who hasn’t played the games. i think taokaka is somewhat relevant to the plot, but i feel like the studio needs to make better storyboard decisions in that they don’t have to spend so much time on her. the voices are all so pronounced and individualistic that they’re sort of all in your face trying to steal the spotlight. jin and nu’s “o/nii-san/sama” squealing was horrendous for a first episode and so while i do wish they’d flesh out the story a bit more, i understand a bit why they did what they did.

    first episode primary objective is to engage the audience and attract them to the show with an introduction to the plot and how it’s going to flow throughout. i feel like because blazblue is popular as a fighting game and wants to impress the fans (trying to incorporate good fight scenes, sticking close to how game told story, introducing as many chars as possible) while attract new audiences it has confused itself by trying to do too many things at once and so even as a fan you sort of feel lost. the pacing is horrendous and the starting point of the story while true to the fighting game was never a good starting point to begin with.

    i also wish the animation was a lot better…

  • October 10, 2013 at 6:56 amChurva

    I really love BlazBlue, I played the first fighting game (now I couldn’t because I’m getting busier, no time for long hour playing) And I’m disappointed on how they present the story, I don’t know why but I think the game did it better, but I can’t really tell since the anime just begun. The first episode felt like a run through with Ragna on the arcade mode and then it’s game over, it feels nice for the game, but it’s not when it’s for anime…My favorite characters are Rachel and Noel <3 And no, Noel isn't a reincarnation of Saya… so it's not a spoiler, but it's near that, and I think you can guess it out.

  • October 10, 2013 at 12:00 pmTheMoondoggie

    I never played BlazBlue and I think that’s why I don’t find this show as engaging to watch as some of this season’s anime. They would probably explain everything as the story goes on but there isn’t anything much for this show to go with.

  • October 12, 2013 at 8:14 pmLaughingMan

    BlazBlue was never really popular for the story so much as the gameplay. I’m not really expecting much from this adaptation.

    For those wondering, the fighting games are great. They’re a hell of a lot of fun but the story is retarded. Then again, who the fuck plays fighting games for the story? I wouldn’t recommend this series but I would definitely recommend playing the games.